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The U Documentary

First off, welcome to sports editor Justin Antweil’s blog. I look forward to connecting with the Hurricane community throughout my tenure as editor via my blog.

I saw The U Documentary at the exclusive showing at the Cosford Cinema two days before the national premiere on ESPN at 9 p.m. Saturday right after the Heisman Trophy ceremony. The documentary is simply a must see. It’s amazing and it perfectly explains the rise of the University of Miami football teams in the 1980s and how they transformed the culture of college football. It’s the birth of a dynasty.

There are some great stories that are told. The music is great. Director Billy Corben, a UM alum, did a fantastic job with all of the interviews and gathering all of the clips.

Here are some things that stood out to me while I watched the 1 hour 42 minute masterpiece.

– The chronology of the movie is really well documented. It starts out with the befuddled Canes in the 1970s then progress to the sudden hire of Howard Schnellenberger. Corben focuses on the regimes of Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and then Butch Davis.

– Lamar Thomas exclaims how Miami’s trash talking would start pregame at the coin toss. Referee microphones were abandoned so the television audience could not pick up with the Canes players were saying to the opposition.

– Melvin Bratton called Oklahoma defensive player Brian Bosworth’s room the night before the Miami vs. Oklahoma game. Bratton knew the host at the front desk and asked to be connected to Bosworth’s room at the Fontainebleau. “We are going to kick your [butt]at high noon, so you better be there,” Bratton said.

– The Canes wore fatigues on the plane to Tempe, Arizona in route to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. The Canes thought the game was a war.

– Randal Hill does the Jefferson dance after a touchdown. He also ran down the tunnel in the Cotton Bowl as part of his touchdown celebration. He then pretended to shoot pistols like a Texas Longhorn. This was a microcosm of the Canes character and swagger. Hill spoke to students after the movie. He has only been to two games since his playing days but says he would like an opportunity to coach but right now enjoys being with his family and working for the federal government and traveling. Hill was critical of this year’s coaches and their choices to have a big wide receiver rotation instead of just a couple of go-to players

– Only two student athletes were at the on-campus screening. Kudos to LaRon Byrd and Chris Hayes. Way to appreciate your heritage and rich history. These players walked the same grounds as you and it’s nice to know you care.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.

December 11, 2009

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Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.